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The strange story of Syria's national football team.

The controversy of Syrian football: succeeding against the odds

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad's political fortunes are looking up on more than one battlefield. Even as Russian military intervention appears to have given Assad's government a new lease on life, sending its football team out to play World Cup qualifying matches allows it to project an image of normality despite four years of bloody civil war.

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Pictures of you

They came from different worlds, Ania and Diab, who met each other one day in the squalid splendour of Camden Town, with its smell of rancid noodles and grass and whistling plastic birds by the canal. Diab was down and out, having split from his wife, and Ania had just begun an artist residency at the hostel where Diab was staying in the interim, as he wondered where life would take him next. With his broken English, and Ania's 'non-existent' Arabic, communicating through tongues was trying; but it didn't matter. Where words failed them, pictures filled the voids -- lots of pictures; for Diab not only took pictures, but lived and breathed them. Alone in manic London, trying to find his way, it seemed the pictures of his cherished homeland were all he had.

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The guide to Palestinian survival in Israel

I wanted to know how exactly I am to survive as an Arab woman in this country. Forget a state for all citizens, all militants, all Jews -- we must now adopt Netanyahu's policies and stay alive.

It is obvious that the average Arab does not own weapons, such that the new open-fire regulations don't really matter to him or her. The only flammable material we know is used for barbecuing, so even if our mayors ask us to walk around armed, it simply won't work out for us.

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Date:Oct 12, 2015
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